Audiences left the grand opening night of Portland Center Stage’s production The Great Leap a bit stunned this past weekend, but it wasn’t because of the play’s plot.
The show actually got shut down just minutes before curtain time because of COVID.
The Great Leap was scheduled to begin its nearly monthlong run at 7:30 pm Friday, Jan. 21. But as patrons waited for the play to begin, and a few dawdlers made their way in from the lobby, an announcement was made onstage that the play would not go on that night due to breakthrough coronavirus cases in the production group.
Shows planned for Saturday and Sunday were also canceled.
This isn’t the first time the pandemic has caused PCS to scrap shows this season. The last three performances of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time were called off right before Christmas because a fully vaccinated individual involved with the company had tested positive for the virus.
“Our highest priority is always the health and safety of every cast, crew, staff, and audience member in the theater,” a notice stated on PCS’s website and social media platforms.
Ticket holders were able to request a refund, credit for a future show that will not expire, or a tax-deductible donation to the company.
PCS hopes to open The Great Leap as soon as it’s safe to do so, which could be as soon as this Wednesday. The play, authored by award-winning playwright Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band), combines pop culture with politics and history—focusing on basketball and the Tiananmen Square uprising of 1989 as well while toggling back and forth in time. Tickets are currently still available for shows scheduled for this week.